Hearing Health Foundation
Policy on Ménière's Disease Grants (MRG)

Updated November 20, 2017

I. GENERAL POLICIES AND OBJECTIVES

Hearing Health Foundation (HHF) awards Ménière's Disease grants once a year for the project period of December 1 - November 30. A grant represents a mutual joining of interests on the part of HHF, the grantee, and his/her associated institution in the pursuit of a common objective furthering hearing and balance science.

  • Applications will be considered for research directed to investigation of specified research topic areas to be listed in the Request for Application; both fundamental and clinical research proposals are welcome.
  • HHF awards up to $50,000 per year for each research project and may provide a maximum of two years of support ($100,000 total, direct and indirect). Second year of grant support is contingent on submitting a one-year progress report to ensure that appropriate progress has been made, as well as available funding.
  • Only researchers based in the U.S. are eligible to apply.

 

The Council of Scientific Trustees (CST), in conjunction with the Scientific Review Committee (SRC), will consider the topic of the research, the quality of its design including the data collection and evaluation components, its potential for significant advancement in basic knowledge or clinical application, the available facilities and personnel at the institution in which the research will be carried out, and the qualifications of the investigators. In accepting a research grant, the institution and the applicant are responsible for using grant funds only for those purposes set forth in the application and approved in the HHF award letter.

 

II. SUPPORT OF A RESEARCH PROJECT TERMS & CONDITIONS

The SRC and CST will evaluate and approve the proposed itemized project budgets.

A. Approved Project: This is an identified activity or program approved by HHF for support for a specified period of time. Any proposed change in the direction of the project must first receive written approval from HHF.

B. Project Year: This is the one-year period for which funding is awarded. New agreements will be drafted and signed for each subsequent year of funding.  All obligations of grant funds must be incurred within the project year unless otherwise granted by HHF. A no-cost extension for a period of one year may be requested, before the end of the initial project year; the request will require approval by HHF. No extensions longer than one year are allowed.

C. Project Period: This is the estimated length of time that it will take to complete the research project; it cannot exceed two years.

D. Awards: An Award will be made in an amount estimated to be needed for one project year up to a maximum of $50,000 (direct and indirect); over a course of two project years, a maximum of $100,000 will be awarded. 

E. Available Funds and Budget: Grant funds may only be used for the direct costs of carrying out approved projects such as:

  • salaries of technical and supporting personnel;
  • purchase of equipment;
  • supplies including drugs and services; and
  • other specifically authorized expenses that are essential to carry out the project.

If an institution requires an allocation for indirect costs that amount may not exceed 10% of the total grant award; regardless of the indirect amount, the HHF award will not exceed $5,000 for any given project year.

Grant funds may not be used for the following:

  • salary of applicant, co-investigator or individuals with a doctorate degree;
  • travel;
  • living expenses;
  • reprints;
  • computers, including laptops
  • indirect costs exceeding 10% of project costs; and
  • public information, education programs or training costs (including tuition).

HHF expects that the applicant’s institution, in authorizing expenditures for the research project, will follow the budget approved within the application. The investigator and institution may transfer dollars from one budgeted category to another with specific approval from his/her institution within the categories specified by HHF. HHF should be notified immediately and, a revised budget and justification of changes, as well as the approval from the Institution, should be provided to HHF. A letter from the PI should also be provided to HHF explaining the changes between budgeted categories with justification for these changes.

 F. Publications & Publicity

  • Investigators are expected to make the results of their research promptly available to the scientific community. Acknowledgment of HHF support must be made when findings are reported to scientific audiences or scientific journals or when publicity is given to a project.
  • Publications resulting from work supported in whole or in part by HHF must contain a credit line to that effect. A PDF copy should be submitted to HHF.
  • When a project is awarded, HHF has the right to publish its abstract and results, when available, on its website, in its Annual Report, and through other public information vehicles.

G. Reporting

  • Mid-Year Report: All HHF grantees are required to submit a mid-year progress report by June 1st of the grant year and it must demonstrate successful completion of set milestones. If a mid-year report is late or not submitted, final payment to the institution will be withheld until report is received. The mid-year report must be submitted in accordance with the instructions accompanying the report. Failure to submit a progress report or to demonstrate research progress will be grounds for grant termination.
  • Terminal Report: All HHF grantees must submit a Terminal and Expenditure report within 60 days after the termination of the grant in accordance with the instructions accompanying the report. Unless otherwise authorized by HHF, unexpended funds must be returned to HHF with this report.
  • Upon review of the terminal report, should there be adequate funding available; HHF will determine if it will renew a first–year applicant for a maximum of one additional project year. If a second project year is extended, a new agreement will be drafted and signed for the second year of funding. 

 

III. ELIGIBILITY, APPLICATIONS, NOTIFICATION & PAYMENT

A. Eligibility:

 Candidate:

  • Applicants must hold an M.D., Ph.D., Au.D., or an equivalent degree.
  • Applicants should demonstrate experience and strong research training as well as sufficient institutional support (facilities, time, and mentorship) to carry out the proposed work.
  • If the applicant is a post-doctoral fellow, it is expected that he or she be at the senior level (e.g., 3 or more years of post-doctoral training). 
  • The applicant must hold an appointment at a non-profit, tax-exempt educational, governmental or research institution within the U.S. Appointments may include faculty, postdoctoral fellow, or clinical/research fellow. Graduate students and medical residents are not eligible to serve as Principal Investigators.

Subject Matter/Scientific Merit:

  • Proposed research that will significantly advance our understanding of disease mechanisms, or diagnosis and treatment of Ménière's Disease. Proposals should contain well defined hypotheses, significance, experimental design (including planned methods and data analysis), expected outcomes, and interpretations.
  • If the applicant is a post-doctoral fellow, the proposed project must address a question or set of questions that are distinct from the mentor's (or Co-PI's) lines of research.
  • Principal investigator should have relevant experience and strong research training.
  • If applicable, the research team should demonstrate complementary expertise.  
  • Institutional and scientific environment should be suitable for the proposed research, including mentorship as appropriate.
  • Institutional support, equipment, core facilities, research subjects, and other resources should be adequate for the proposed research and available to the investigators. 

 Total duration of HHF funding allowed:

  • HHF grants will provide a maximum of two years of support; the project timeline for the research should not exceed two years. Second year of grant support is contingent on submitting a one-year progress report to ensure that appropriate progress has been made and funding availability. The one-year progress report will be reviewed by the CST and the HHF Board of Directors. Failure to submit a progress report or to demonstrate research progress will be grounds for grant termination.
  • Should the grant be terminated, a terminal progress report and an expenditures report must be submitted, and unexpended funds must be returned to HHF within 30 days.
     

B. Ineligibility: The following applications will not be considered:

  • Researchers at institutions outside of the U.S.
  • From graduate students.
     

Application Deadlines and Timelines

For the 2017 Funding Cycle (subject to change): Full Application deadline: September 1, 2017

C.     Other Funding: An application shall state whether the same project is receiving support from another source, and whether an application has been submitted to another source for such funding. If, after application to or funding by HHF, this same project receives support from another granting agency, the applicant and the grantee institution shall promptly notify HHF of such funding.

D.    Notification: In the Fall, HHF will notify each applicant whether or not his/her project has received a grant for the upcoming project year, and if so, the amount of that grant.

E.     Payments: Grants will be paid in two equal payments disbursed in December and July.

F.     Budget Deviation: Any budget deviation during the program year requires an updated budget and justification of change. In the interim, remittance of payment cannot be provided. (see II. SUPPORT OF A RESEARCH PROJECT TERMS & CONDITIONS above.)

G.    Conflict of Interest: An institution awarded a grant from HHF must sign and submit a Conflict of Interest statement to be provided by HHF.
 

IV. PROJECT CHANGES

A. Transfer of Institution: No research grant can be transferred from one institution to another without the written approval of HHF. If a grantee wishes to have such transfer made, that grantee must:

  • request, in writing, the approval of HHF for the transfer;
  • secure written approval for this transfer from the fiscal officer at the present grantee institution;
  • submit an expenditures report covering the project period at the present institution up to the time of the transfer approved by HHF, and provide for the return to HHF of all unexpended funds received by the present institution for the grant;
  • provide HHF with the name and address of the fiscal officer of the new institution;
  • secure from the appropriate chair at the new institution both a confirmation for HHF of the investigator's new appointment, and confirmation that the new duties and the available facilities and personnel will permit the prompt completion of the research project;
  • submit a letter of support from the mentor at the new institution, if applicable; and
  • submit a progress report on the work done at the present institution since the beginning of the grant period.

B. Change of Objective: If the applicant wishes to make changes that could alter the approved objectives for which the original grant was made, prior approval of HHF is required.

C. Change of Investigator: If the investigator relinquishes or expects to relinquish active direction of the project, HHF must be notified immediately. The grantee institution may:

  • request that the grant be terminated, in which case a terminal progress report and an expenditures report must be submitted, and unexpended funds must be returned to HHF, or;
  • with the approval of HHF, continue the project under the direction of another investigator. In the latter instance, biographical data, an interim progress report, and other pertinent information required by HHF must accompany the request for such continuation.

D. No-Cost Extension: The applicant must request a no-cost extension on his/her institution's letterhead before the end of the initial project year. The request must be approved by HHF. The letter must include the reason for a no-cost extension and the duration of the extension. The project year may be extended, up to one year, without additional funding. No additional extension beyond one year will be approved.

 

V. LIMITATIONS

A. Geographical: Grants are limited to institutions within the United States of America.

B. Time: Awards are approved for a period of one year; a second year of grant support is contingent on submitting a one-year progress report to ensure that appropriate progress has been made. 

C. Amount: A grant cannot exceed $50,000 for a one–year project; $100,000 for a two-year project.

D. Grant: HHF applies a policy of funding grants receiving a high priority score without the number limitation based on available funds.

E. Non Tax-exempt organizations: Grants may be made to public or private not-for-profit tax-exempt institutions, to support research at those institutions by investigators who are formally attached to them. Research conducted cannot directly benefit for-profit companies and/or be directed toward a for-profit company's product development unless otherwise agreed to by the HHF Board of Directors in their sole discretion. Awarding grants to for-profit companies may disqualify HHF for tax-exempt status.

 

VI. CONDITIONS

In the event that the grantee breaches any of the provisions of the policy described above, HHF reserves the right to withhold further payments of the grant, and to require the grantee repay to HHF any funds expended in contravention of such provisions.